Honey Cake

  • Author: Dana Gerard
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 24 slices 1x
  • Category: German/Jewish
  • Cuisine: Dessert

A favorite Jewish cake since the middle ages in Germany, delicious Honey Cake celebrates a sweet new year and all other festive occasions. Adaptable, dairy free and can be gluten free and vegan.


  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or almonds, divided (75 gm)
  • 2 eggs or egg replacement
  • 1 cup sugar (200 gm)
  • 1/2 cup light olive or safflower oil (125 ml)
  • 1 cup honey or dark agave (250 ml)
  • 1/2 cup strong black coffee (125 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons brandy, rum or bourbon (30 ml) (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (10 gm)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (2 gm)
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (5 gm)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice (1 gm)
  • grated zest of one orange
  • 2 cups all purpose or gluten free flour (300 gm) + extra to dust nuts and fruit
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (40 gm)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place racks in center of oven.
  2. Gather and measure out all ingredients before you begin.
  3. On a baking sheet lined with foil, toast 1/2 cup almonds at 350 F for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  4. Use an electric mixer or whisk to beat eggs or egg replacement and sugar together until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes.(Tip: Pour oil into a glass measuring cup first and then add the honey. The honey will be easier to pour into the batter.) Pour in oil, honey, coffee, liquor or vanilla and blend well.
  5. Combine dry ingredients: baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves or allspice, orange zest and flour.
  6. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients about a third at a time. Beat on low and stop to scrape down sides a few times.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix a tablespoon of flour into toasted nuts and raisins. Stir them into the batter just until blended.
  8. Size options: Use a 9 inch (24 cm) pan or two 9 x 5 inch ( 24x 13 cm) loaf pans lined with parchment or foil. Pour in the batter and sprinkle with 1/4 cup untoasted almonds.
  9. Bake larger cake 55 min-1 hour and 2 smaller ones 40 -45 minutes. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Cake flavors are even better on the second day.
  10. Fresh cake lasts about 5 days. Well wrapped frozen cake lasts up to 3 months.
  11. Serve with extra toasted almonds, a dish of honey and coffee, tea or something stronger!


Recipe adapted from Honey Cake or Lekach
by Claudia Roden, The Book Of Jewish Food